Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 3!

Nehemiah Summer Session 3 from LPV on Vimeo.

Hey, you darling things! Our summer Bible study is flying like the wind! We are four weeks stronger in the Word of God than we were when we started and THAT is a powerful thing. I am so blessed that you are persevering amid about 1000 things vying for your attention. Our culture has infected us with such serious attention deficit disorder that we have to fight harder than ever for focus and reflection. We also have to catch where catch can. I love picturing some of your Nehemiah workbooks with water splotches on them from your neighborhood pool, with mustard on them from catching up on your homework during your lunch, and, goodness knows, with coffee on them from getting up at some unreasonably godly hour to get it all done. God has not missed a single effort you have put into this journey nor will He allow a solitary word to return void.

“For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 32:47

We, too, have our Jordans. We, too, have lands of promise where we thrive by faith and serve God and our fellowman in the full throttle effectiveness of the Holy Spirit. So, take heart! What you’re doing here is profoundly important.

OK, our gatherings and discussions today will reflect on Weeks (or Sessions) Three and Four of our homework. Remember that all comments to this post come AFTER your group views the video (or questions below) and completes the guided discussion. Always sign in by your group name, city, and number participating each time or, if you’re going solo, by your name and city. Solo participants will choose several of the questions that resonate with you most and answer them succinctly in your comment.

1. In the introduction to Session or Week Three and at the bottom of p.64, Kelly strongly encourages us to open up our worlds and deliberately look straight into the faces of some who are powerless, oppressed and poor. I love the way she ends the challenge: GO LEARN A NAME. Share within the discretion of your group the name of someone you reach out to personally who lives a very different life and falls under one of those headings. Share something about your interaction with the person that God has used in YOUR life and not just hers/his. Those of you going solo: since we have a very public format, use first names only.

2. Look at the shaded personal response section on p.72. Let’s tweak that question a little bit to involve even more of us: Name a time when God has asked you to lay down entitlement in an area where you were justified in holding onto it. As you share this occasion, discuss what you believe to have been the greater purpose.

3. Look in the left-hand margin of p.80 and share your answer to this question: In what area of obedience are you currently fatiguing? Encourage one another to persevere! Talk about the value of what God is calling you to do and any blessing that has already come to you as a direct result of this area of obedience.

4. Review Nehemiah 8:1-8 where Ezra reads from the Book of the Law. Glance back at the bottom of p.103 and the top of p.104. Discuss that kind of awe for the Word of God and talk about current ways people are aided in their understanding of the Scriptures.

5. Lastly, glance at the right hand margin on p.111 and answer the personal reflection question: What about the Christian life gives you the most joy? Try to get specific!

I wish so much I could be in on all your discussions. I love being in the Word with you, Sweet Things! We only have 2 more weeks to go! Let’s finish strong by doing our 5th and 6th weeks of homework and we’ll meet again on Tuesday, August 7th. If you’re participating in the community meal, how about Capri’s Pasta on p.113?

I love you guys like crazy. Stay the course!

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237 Responses to “Siesta Summer Bible Study 2012 Gathering 3!”

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Comments:

  1. 51
    ashley says:

    ashley of apex, solo
    1. a friendship that started as me and my husband helping a needy neighbor physically and emotionally, and we were her ‘best friend’ for a long time, but that really just went one way (and were ok with that). years later she was emotionally able to reciprocate and became my friend, and the dynamic is not just about us helping her when she needs us anymore–she’s like part of our family.
    2. I gave up my earning potential (to me an inflated entitlement salary) when God asked me to spend more time at home with my family. i now make a much smaller amount, but with a much greater return, because i’m there for my kids, and i’m helping my church and other non-profits.
    5. working with kids and loving on them. helping the helpless and not expecting anything back. fellowshipping with other believers. studying God’s Word!

  2. 52
    Cari Andreani says:

    Last night “The Little Debbies” met and what a joy it was! We’ve actually added two more so we are to 14 and we met in my living room this time- we were packed in there, but it was a wonderful time of girls chatting and relaxing and enjoying some salad and banana pudding! The discussion questions were great this week! Everyone participated. We have teens up to grandmas and all of us in between. How great to hear from others they too can be “fatigued in obedience” and how they lay down an entitlement. Talking about it with other sisters in Christ is so healing. The enemy wants to isolate us and make us think we are alone in this- but when we talk about it in the open and encourage each other, we gain strength he is defeated. I love women’s Bible study! One thing we talked about was laying down an entitlement(#2). One of our ladies talked about laying down entitlement in marriage. Is this issue worth “being right” over? In which we agreed that being right was highly overrated and it reminded us of 1 Peter 3:1,2 to win our husbands not by words but by our submissive behavior and purity. Love it! And oh- those teen girls are getting some good advice:) We all left with such a joy in our heart talking about the things of God and His Word. Oh- He is so good! Thank you for this study! We are loving it! May God bless all of our other sisters in this journey as we lift them up in prayer and the LPM staff and of course, Beth. Praise Him! He is so good to us!

  3. 53
    Jennifer says:

    Water to Wine, Austin, Texas
    1. handicapped family member really changed an entire family’s perspective on life
    2. questioning motives
    3. spending time with the Lord; overcoming negative thoughts; an untamed tongue; not seeing the best in people
    4. footnotes; a concordance; the internet; seeing children come to know the Lord
    5. God stopping you from making mistakes (turning away and coming back to the Lord); having a life with purpose; comfort & calm, peace with God

  4. 54
    Pam in San Diego says:

    Pam in San Diego going solo: 1. I’ve yet to learn the name of the woman who is in charge of the recycle place behind my grocery store. I talk to her and took her a coke a couple of weeks ago, so next time, I will ask her name.
    3. I seem to feel the fatigue as I pray for certain long term requests for my family. I have grown weary lately, but this question and doing the study have encouraged me to keep praying and not give up.
    5. One of the things that gives me joy in my walk is seeing my grown children walk with God and trust Him in their lives. Seeing them obey God’s Word and minister brings tears to my eyes. God is so faithful to hear our prayers for our children. Another joy is seeing women that I minister to use God’s Word to grow in their walk and develop a desire for truth in their hearts and minds. Oh, the joy of seeing God’s Word bring forth fruit in my life and others!!!

  5. 55
    Nancy N. says:

    Nancy, Atlanta, GA (solo) –
    3. The area of obedience that I am currently fatiguing would be exercise. I will start a program and stick to it for about 2 weeks and then find any and all excuses why I just don’t have the time for it anymore.

    5. The joy that I have is knowing that by worshipping God and loving Him – He will always be on my side no matter the circumstances. I am confident in my faith that I will someday be with God in heaven and be surrounded by all His glory. Also, when I pray to Him I know he hears me. Recently I went thru a tramatic experience with a loved one (that person was involved in an accident and suffered short-term memory loss) and I prayed all night long. The next day I knew God heard and answered my prayers because the person I was praying for was already on the road to recovery. GOD IS GREAT!!!

  6. 56
    Anita says:

    Anita, Augusta,ME, going solo

    I am learning so much from this study. Thank you!
    #1 – My daughter works for World Vision and through her, I have sponsored 2 children. It is such a blessing to see them grow & learn about God’s love. My small sacrifice means LIFE for them. I wish each & every child has a sponsor to love, pray & care for them.

    #3 – I am a public school teacher. For years, I have seen it as God’s calling serve these children and my community. Recently I have been feeling that God is moving me to serve in other areas. I am praying that it is not just fatigue, and waiting for His guidance about this. I have NO idea what He wants me to do yet. I still LOVE working with the kids and it has been my passion but I am burning out from all the other demands of the classroom. Stepping in new directions will be painful but I want to do what HE wants me to do. I am dreading the fall & praying that God will give me the desire to return to the classroom since these students deserve the best education I can give.

  7. 57
    Suzy says:

    Suzy / on behalf of the Smyrna Summer Siestas: 9 of us met Tuesday night in my living room – had the DELISH romaine salad with pecans and homemade banana pudding, while we discussed Nehemiah – love the food AND the study!

    We actually shared quite a bit on the lies that we have believed (or do believe) about God and about ourselves – that we are useless, unworthy, not good enough, etc., or that God cannot possibly use us – and how we can overcome that through praying scripture and being in Bible study with a group of encouraging ladies who point us to the truth of God’s word! Also a good combat against the lies is just plain being obedient and reaching outside ourselves.

    The other thing that we LOVED was the comparison of those Jewish families who couldn’t prove their lineage and were prevented from making their home inside the walls to our state before we came to Christ – we were foreigners and aliens, outsiders with no hope, until the blood of Christ applied to our lives brought that wall crashing down. Now we belong – and the Holy Spirit is our guarantee (our proof of lineage)! What a wonderful truth – my heart just danced at that one!

    There was a lot more – but those are the conversations that stuck out to me.

  8. 58
    Pam Houston says:

    Pam Houston – Buena Park, CA ~ Going solo
    #1. Wow! This is a big question and so many come to mind, but I’ll share a very personal and new little friend I met at our VBS this last week. He is a darling 8 year old by the big name of “Jesus” and is from an impoverished background. What a joy to bring hope to the hurting and bless the little ones in the mighty name of Jesus…I know Him by name! I can speak to “HIM” on behalf of little Jesus…and pray that little Jesus learns to depend on big JESUS!
    #2. As a married woman, I feel I have an entitlement to husbands hard earned retirement income (which I contributed to in my 30 years as hairdresser…) of course, in truth it is “our” money, but I don’t control finances in our house. So long story short in retirement years, our 35 years of disciplined retirement planning has hit a snag in this economy. I am amoung millions of baby boomers singing the same old song. I’m seeing that in relinquishing my “entitlement” God is providing! Case in point: LPL coming near my home to Long Beach. God provided part time filing work for this retired gal to be able to pay for the LPL weekend! Yeah LORD!
    #3. and #4. I had begun to fatigue in the discipline of daily Bible reading. I’m afraid “ADD had set in!” I had fallen into an easy trap of doing daily devotionals instead. I began to recognize my lapse, and miraculously somehow I was sent a link to Words of Hope Daily Bible reading and can now read through the Bible with ease using Biblegateway.com. I am still amazed that this link came up on my Email just when I was dealing with my ADD fatigue syndrome and in reality, my own disobedience! I was taking the easy way out and justifying it! I can only stand back in utter amazement at God’s grace at work in my life! Oh, by the way, all my energies had been directed toward my teaching of the Kairos Ladies Class and Martha Lawley’s “Attending the Bride” and the study associated with that teaching. I had been “lulled to sleep” concerning a disciplined approach to reading God’s Word. After all, I was “in” God’s Word wasn’t I? Guess where the Holy Spirit chose to have me start again on a disciplined approach? “Song of Solomon, Ch 1-4!” As I said, “Amazing Grace!” Talk about awe…we serve a Living God!
    #5. Speaking with my husband on the subject of joy we talked about our personal relationship with the Living God and the joy that comes from not only believing Him for miracles but expecting them! This past week our beloved Aunt Charlene was miraculously rescued from the jaws of death while on a snorkeling adventure in Alaskan waters. She was pulled out drowned, no pulse, no pupil response…dead. When the ambulance pulled up to the inlet where she had ingested all the salt water, her heart began to pitty-pat and the rush for her life was on! She reports experiencing fathomless billows of peace, then suddenly she was aware of a pesky voice of a rescue worker beckoning her back, and she opened her eyes to give him “the look”…and she saw such love and compassion coming from his eyes, she decided she didn’t want to disappoint him and began to work at breathing again. Taken to emergency and ICU in hospital in port, she missed her ships departure. Miraculously, she was able to hook up with her land end of the Alaskan adventure 4 days later and she has made it home safe to her native NE Colorado today! Yes, we believe in miracles and we expect them, and to us that is joy unspeakable and full of glory!

  9. 59
    Gwen says:

    The most striking discussion question for me is the one about what gives me the most joy. It is of course that absolutely real living relationship with our Jesus. After that watching your children and grandchildren come into that same place with Jesus is indescribleable….but so precious too is the fellowship of believers. ….watching them grow up in Jesus and then bring others with them. This Jesus family that we are apart of …..it’s indescribleable.

  10. 60
    Desiree Grosgebauer says:

    I am enjoying Nehemiah solo for the summer along with God’s Story by Anne Graham Lotz with my church Bible study. I work at a grocery store and as I was thinking about “learning a name,” I remembered what a dear friend told me when I told her I wished I had a job that made a difference to someone. Sweet Carol told me I was to reach out to people where I was and to raise my daughter. I try to remember this when dealing with people on a daily basis and take a few extra minutes to talk to the older ladies and gentlemen. I have found many who seem grumpy on the exterior are just lonely or in constant pain or assume people are not interested in them. I lost all my grandparents over 10 years ago and miss them dearly. I enjoy sharing someone else’s grandparent for a few minutes and hope maybe their day is a little brighter also.

    The second topic that really strikes me is where I am struggling with obedience. I am severely lacking in loving my enemies (or maybe they just don’t have any idea what they are doing) and blessing those who curse me. My child’s father seems to live for making me miserable and
    I cannot make myself respond kindly. Probably because it revolves around resposible child-rearing and not just me personally. I know I need to be in prayer much more in this area and turn more of the smaller issues over to God. I just know that homework, behavior, and bedtimes do matter.

    The third topic is what brings me the most joy in being a Christian. The first thing is knowing where I am going at the end of this life. The second is studying and sharing God’s Word along with other believers. I love finding out that new people I meet are also lovers of Jesus! I also love finding out how many of us are sharing similar struggles by doing things like this study. Sometimes I feel so alone. I have to go to work everyday and be a supervisor and act like I have it together when often that is far from the truth. I am so thankful for all the good Bible studies and teachers out there who lead us through His Word. I am not good at just sticking with a straight reading plan-I need the push of a study!

    I am ready to continue on in Nehemiah!

    brighter al

  11. 61
    Donna says:

    Donna, McMinnville, TN. Solo
    Page 64:
    As the days and weeks go by this study gets more real and personal.
    It’s been some years now but I was able to spend a summer in Mexico. At first I didn’t like the situation and could hardly wait for the summer to be over. But when the group I was with started reaching out to those who lived in that little city and to those in the jail (some Americans) we was the Lord do great things. My selfish thoughts were refocused on Him and what He was doing. When the summer was over I was excited to share all I had seen the Lord do. This is the closest I’ve come to someone who was powerless and poor. Unitl it hit my own family. A divorce, a loss of a home, a loss of a job, everything sold to pain bills. Just days from living on the street… it hurts when it hits home… but God shows us the situation from the other side… it’s more painful than you think.

  12. 62
    bobbie puckett says:

    Beth, I am trying to keep up with the home work because I love it so much. my need is so great i’m not sure where to begin. I have a daugher and she has 4 daughers ages 10,13, 16 & 18. They live about 5 miles from me. So about 4 years ago she decided she needed to distance her self from me. She would not talk to me at any of the family functions. At first she let me see the girls but soon she blocked all communication with her and the girls. No phone, e-mail or texting. Well I have to admit I did not suffer well, i did things and said things because I thought I could change her and looking back I am here only because God wants me to be, as it has been a suffering, grief unto death. I know so many mothers that are going thru the very same thing with their daughters. So I wanted to start a class at our church to find women who were willing to come and we could support and encourage each other. We started the class but it just did not seem to be Gods’ will at that time. Now I am growing fatigued, but still am seeking God in this situation. She is a child of God and I did have an opportunity in the beging of 2009, to asked her to pleae lets start over, forgive each other and go on with our relationship. She refused at time and everytime I’ve had an opportunity to speak to her since then (very few opportunities have happened) but she still refuses. A few months ago she told me that she had moved on and I should move on as well. So how do you move on from your only daughter and her 4 precious girls, I helped her so much when they were litte and loved ever moment of it, but It’s been a year since i have seen her or the girls. Last May 2011 my husband passed away unexpectly and she would not speak to me at the funeral and told me if I thought that Larry passing away was going to change our relationship, well I was wrong. All the people that prayed so long for her, have kinda just stopped. I am so desperate & fatigued. I’ve been on my knees for this situation alot. Sorry this was so long. I feel like I’m a wreck.

    • 62.1
      Beverly says:

      Bobbie – what a painful situation! I just stopped and prayed for you and your daughter but especially for you that you would solely put your trust Him and asked Him to change your heart and attitude toward your daughter. Of course, I also prayed for her heart and attitude towards you. My favorite, go-to verse for the past 2 years has been Ephesians 1:17-19 and especially the first part of verse 17..”I keep asking…” Sister, you are loved and be encouraged! God knows your heart! Keep seeking Him! LOVE and (((hugs)))

    • 62.2
      Joyce in Colorado says:

      Dear Lord, I lift this mom up to Your mercy throne today, asking comfort and a new deposit of hope in her heart that reconciliation will occur. Give her the strength and fortitude to continue to faithfully pray for the situation. We thank You that we know You are at work in her daughter’s life. We pray that her heart will soften and Your miracle of reconciliation happens soon. Amen.

  13. 63
    Paula Hale says:

    Dynamic Trio, Brownwood, Tx (3)
    We had a great time of bonding and sharing after watching Kelly’s teaching videos. We discussed the meaningful parts of what she said to us at the time and shared different situations where we are trying to apply different concepts and different areas where we feel we need help.
    We encouraged one another to seek God and to pray! Thanks, Nehemiah! And we shared different ideas about US being God’s people and the blessing of living on this side of Jesus’ life and the wonderful power and blessing it is to have access to that right now.
    Thanks again!
    We are learning lots!
    Have a fruitful day!

  14. 64
    Vicki says:

    Going solo in Clay county in north Texas
    #1 I always have several disadvantaged students in my tutorial groups at the elementary school I work at. God often impresses me to pray for their well-being, especially in the summer.
    #3 I fall short on encouraging my husband. The world is mean enough , so what better motivation than to lift up instead of finding fault.
    #5 I am so thankful that God is always with me directing me in the ways I should go. I love it that I can call on Him at anytime and anywhere.

    • 64.1
      Heather Jackson says:

      Hi Vicki,

      I too fall short when it comes to encouraging my husband and praying for him daily. What a difference it would make in our homes and in our marriages if we would just take the time to say a prayer on our husband’s behalf or make a point to have an encouraging word for him at the end of each day. I agree, we live in a mean world and, sadly, sometimes I’m the one who is being the meanest where my husband is concerned! Thank you for sharing this, it has motivated me to try to do better in this area. God bless!

      Heather J

      • Paula says:

        Vicki & Heather,
        Thank you both for your comments. I also need to find more ways to lift up my husband. I came home from work yesterday exhausted from an especially difficult day. He had enjoyed an afternoon out and was initially in a good mood but while we were running errands he became short-tempered over things like traffic and store crowds and was soon saying rude things to me too. My sense of entitlement told me I was being the “right” one and he was being “wrong.” It didn’t sit well with my spirit though and despite the fact I really wanted to hold a grudge, I prayed silently for the Lord to guard my tongue and my heart from the mean feelings beginning to invade. I even grudgingly lifted up a prayer for him. I was startled (and I shouldn’t have been) when we got home and he apologized. God is good. I’m glad He continues to work on me.

  15. 65
    Diane says:

    Going Solo here:
    #1 and 5: I am so blessed to visit a nursing home on a regular basis. It’s the one of the few nursing homes in our county that takes Medicaid, so there are residents there from all walks of life. Many residents don’t own a thing outside the few items in their room. Yet when confronted with the question, “Do you know the name of a poor person?” , my immediate reaction was “Well, no!” because I never really think of the people I visit as poor, though many of them are by any common definition, in terms of worldly goods. But my friends there, especially Debbie, Betty, Brian, David, and Joyce, bring me much joy. They have taught me much about living a happy life despite adversity and setbacks. They’ve taught me about aging, and taking the good with the bad.
    Thanks so much for this study. Taking the time to do my daily homework also brings me JOY! 🙂

  16. 66
    Allyaggie says:

    The League City Ladies met last night. All 10 of us were there, yay! We had Double Daves Peproni Rolls; it was Two for Tuesday, y’all!! We also indulged in cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, yum!
    We had another good discussion and time of encouragement for one another. #2 about entitlement brought up discussions of past family hurt, sacrificing our wants in marriage, and job timings. God frees us from the “rightful feelings” into a deeper walk with Him. #3 allowed us to identify our struggles which included consistent quiet times, prayer and worry, and to pray more specifically for one another. I know my prayer for us is that God would reveal Himself to us and that we will find joy in knowing how initmately He loves us.

    allyson

  17. 67
    Madge says:

    The 11 of us met last night to do week 6’s video and discuss week 5. We started earlier than most and meet weekly. We will finish next Monday night.
    We have ENJOYED the study and the wonderful recipes.We actually had Capri’s pasta a couple weeks ago with quinoa. Really yummy. Nehemiah is a life changing book and I’ve gotten new perspectives from Kelly’s refreshing approach. We thank you…

  18. 68
    Becky says:

    Stay at Home Mom’s Bible study. Morganton NC
    We made the Soutwest Chicken soup and Banana pudding today….I am almost too stuffed to post! Yum!
    I think our sweetest moments of discussion came when we all shared our greatest joy about the Christian life. It was neat to see different perspectives and reminded us all what a great God we serve. The other really meaningful time to me was our discussion on where we are fatigued in our service/waiting on the Lord. It gave us new insight in how to encourage and pray for each other.

  19. 69
    Vicki says:

    Gal Pals (2 in group- mother/daughter)
    Murfreesboro, TN

    1. Convicted that I need to be more aware of, and concerned about the needs of the powerless, oppressed and poor. I need to learn some names. While I do sponsor a little girl in India through Compassion International, I need to be more involved locally. I’m praying for God to show me where He wants me to be involved.
    4. I believe that we have lost so much of our awe and reverence for God’s Word in our churches and in our lives. That could be because we are so blessed with so many aids that perhaps we take it for granted. Holy Spirit is our very best aid, but we also have commentaries, Bible studies, devotionals, teachers, preachers- in person, online, DVDs, etc., numerous versions of the Bible, to name a few.
    5. Things that bring us joy in the Christian life- Christian friendships, corporate worship, Bible studies with other ladies, especially mother-daughter Bible studies such as this one, answered prayer, hearing my sweet 3-year-old granddaughter tell a Bible story or quote a verse, and any time that Jesus allows me a glimpse of His presence in everyday life.

    • 69.1
      Terry Stofer says:

      We’re all loving this study so much and feeling very stretched and provoked by the questions and personal reflections. Lots of great discussion around issues of entitlement (including a good insight on tithing as an act of worship, as opposed to ‘its my money, I earned it and I’m entitled to it’). We also had opportunity to pray especially about not believing the lies of the enemy but rather the truth of what God says about us. We are going to be mighty sad to see this study end!

  20. 70
    The Freedom Sisters says:

    The Freedom Sisters had another fantastic conversation last night over salad and pasta-yummy recipes! It’s amazing how common themes arise from all of us even with the different backgrounds and lives we lead.
    1. Three of us had names of someone with different circumstances who we felt very lead to reach out to. We are in the process of putting together “baskets of love” for each of them from our group.
    2.Another common theme-several of us feel “entitled” to an apology from someone in our lives who have wronged us, and struggle with feeling that we deserve this before we can forgive and move on. We talked about letting go of this entitlement and being free!
    3. We are all moms, and we struggle with handling our children with gentleness and humbleness.
    4. We feel very blessed to have our own bibles in our hands whenever we want them, which is very different from them.
    5. Christian music gives all of us much joy!!

  21. 71
    Atomic Moms says:

    We forget about all the hidden treasures in God’s word. Satan has really been working on trying to get in the way of us meeting for this Bible Study but we are determined to keep meeting.

  22. 72
    Beth says:

    The 31 Women, London ON, 2 of us

    We had some yummy maple pecan salad tonight and then some good conversation as we talked through Beth’s questions. #4 was inspiring; I am reading through the BIble in a year right now and come across a lot of difficult passages, most of which I just let slide. It was inspiring to talk about all the ways I could confront the passages and wrangle out God’s truth. My partner brought some great ideas to the table and encouraged me that there’s no shame in emailing a pastor or a friend. #5 was an uplifting way to end the night and we found that we have the same joys – singing God’s praises, and looking forward to heaven.

  23. 73
    Rachel says:

    Bolivar Beloved, Bolivar, Missouri, group of 4

    It is our goal to learn a NAME. We come across many people on a daily basis and want to be fully aware of our comings and goings and encounters with God’s people.

  24. 74
    Darla says:

    Hi everyone!
    1. I had an unsaved girlfriend visit me this weekend and my heart was saddened when she left. Why? She is not financially poor but emotionally poor and spiritually bankrupt. Without a relationship with Christ, she is looking to fill that void in her life with everything else. She has so much more than I do physically, but I wouldn’t trade our lives. Please pray for Wendy to know the deep, deep love of our Savior.
    2. My family pretty much disowned me because I refused to hide that a young relative was being abused by her parent. I did the right thing and my conscious is clear but I must love and show compassion because in their broken perspective, I’ve betrayed the family. I’ve obeyed the Lord to protect a child and I must waive the right to gloat or expect an apology. The greater good is her safety and that I will help stop 4 generations of victims. The greater good is the Love of our God.
    5. What brings me the greatest joy? Using my skills, talents and mercy gifts to help victims of domestic violence. Whether teaching others how to help their friends, or listening to victims share their heartache and pain, brings the greatest joy. It’s “comforting others with the comfort I’ve received.” Hallelujah! We serve a God of redemption.

  25. 75
    Stephanie says:

    Ft. Pierce, Solo

    Q3 resonated with me. I’m becoming fatigue in being consistent and establishing a quiet time, in the morning, to be in God’s presence (early mornings are the best because there are few outside noises). I’ll do it for a while, and then stop because I get distracted with all kinds of thoughts, or can’t wake up as early as I would like. I know God can speak to our spirit anytime of the day, but I don’t like missing that morning quiet time.

    Q5 – What brings me joy in the Christian life – No matter how I feel, God will never leave or forsake me; God’s grace and love, God’s forgiveness, God’s joy, and being a witness of how God can change someone’s life. There is so much more.

    • 75.1
      Paula says:

      Stephanie,
      There’s a great booklet by Watchman Nee titled “Early Rising” that I think you would enjoy and find encouraging. It’s part of the “New Believer Series” (don’t let the series title throw you, I was a Christian for 30 years before I read it) and you can get it from the online store at Living Streams Ministry or even at Amazon.
      It’s about spending your time with the Lord in the morning like gathering manna before the sun comes up. It’s not condemning but very spiritually encouraging and helped me with establishing a healthy pattern of daily time with the Lord.
      You’re not alone, Stephanie, even though you’re flying solo. I’m praying for you as you seeker a deeper relationship with Him.

  26. 76
    Tiffany K. says:

    Loveland, CO; Twisted Sisters from Bent Tree Church, 5. Summary:

    Our group of five amazing ladies met today over bagels and coffee in the kitchen of a beautiful home with a large round table for some great discussion! It was such a beautiful morning to share our stories with each other and be in the word of God! I am amazed at how time passes so quickly when I am surrounded by such good company!

    1. The first discussion question brought tears to our eyes as we talked about a prostitute, a women possibly losing her home, a divorce and broken family, and a close friend or neighbor struggling to pay his/her bills. It was incredible to see how each of the women in our group were touched by a significant person(s) and how the power of prayer is so great!

    2. When discussing the subject of laying down entitlement, our group shared many different scenarios. Perhaps it is paying a person too much money for the work he did, or a difficult relationship with a loved one. How easy it is to feel entitled to various things, yet the good Lord has a plan for all of us. How important it is to relinquish our feelings of entitlement for God has a greater purpose and plan for all of us!

    3. The discussion question around obedience really hit home for all of us. Areas in which we are currently fatigued include submitting to God, prayer time, quiet time in his word, exercise and submitting to our husbands. All too often we rely on our self to fulfill our dreams instead of God!

    4. It was easy for us to come up with examples of things we stand up for such as a home run or the Pledge of Allegiance. However God is so mighty and magnificent, that we should give him the upmost respect! It is so important to bow our heads in in prayer and close our eyes. Our bibles are so precious and it is critical we keep his word in our hearts!

    5. We were never meant to do this life alone! To make ourselves vulnerable and share with others what breaks our heart makes life more bearable! God is wrapping his arms around each and everyone of us and walking with us on our journey in this life! Joy is truly experienced when both youth and adults “get it” during time spent in God’s word! How wonderful it is to see a fellow Christian invite a friend to church, and to watch our church blossom and grow! We have so much joy in seeing God move in people’s lives and to watch Jesus work! The relationships and people we have grown to know and love through church, bible study, small groups etc. are so cherished and treasured!

  27. 77
    Toni Larkin says:

    Study Buddies of Forsyth, MO

    We had 11 meet with us at church this morning, and as always it was great to spend time with Christian sisters studying God’s Word.

    We spent most of our time going over Kelly’s session 5 questions. #4 Discuss ways you can be active in explaining God’s truths and His heart….. We found out we all feel very inadequate when faced with opportunities or questions when we least expect it (for example, from a stranger at the pool). We all need to pray that we will have the words to say when these opportunities arise.

    #7 What gets in the way of our joy? mostly being too busy with our lives and not focusing on God. We need to remember who gives us great joy and when we are down we need to turn our hearts to Him.

    Instead of taking prayer requests as a group each person is writing their requests on cards, and we pass them around (much like musical chairs) and when we stop each person has the needs of a person to pray for until the next week.

  28. 78
    erin says:

    the deck girls, 2, in eau claire, wi and algonquin, il

    we had a lot of fun discussing all of the questions but particularly #3 and #5! i finished the james, mercy triumphs study in the spring and i had committed to memorizing the entire book of james and i made it almost through the first 2 chapters but then the study ended and my motivation has waned. i love being able to recall these verses at various times and i am going to finish the book of james at some point but it’s taking longer than i had expected. my mom has been struggling with journaling, quiet time, and prayer time. she started feeling like they were just something to check off her to do list so she decided to cut back a little bit so that she could fully invest herself when she did them, but she’s been struggling to get back at it whole-heartedly. we are both encouraged to know that everyone struggles with fatigue as we’re trying to be obedient to the Lord. hopefully this encouragement will help us fuel up so we can persevere in our obedience!

    as for #5, we both find so much joy in worshiping and praising the Lord through songs! it is also so much fun to see young children so eager to learn about God and so comfortable talking about Him. just this past weekend i had the privilege of serving in the children’s area at church with 4 and 5 year olds. they were so excited to be honoring God with the mountains they created in a sandbox! they even managed to get a cross to stand up on top of it to honor Jesus! i can only pray that my son will be this eager when he reaches that age! but, my mom and i also discussed the difference between joy and happiness and we both appreciated what kelly had to say about that on page 109. unfortunately, it is quite easy to equate joy with happiness but often times our happiness is fleeting. it can be difficult to have joy during trying times but knowing that we have a heavenly father who knows us so intimately and loves us more than we can imagine can help us find true joy! thanks mom for reminding me of that simple, yet powerful truth!

  29. 79
    Beverly says:

    WNC, Sylva, NC Beverly

    Several of the questions this go around gave me more “food for thought”.
    Qu 1 – I go into the homes of many women as part of my profession. The women I meet are in a wide range of socio-economic status. I have found that there are women in all three categories – powerless, oppressed and poor – within the strata of economies – wealthy to destitute. And, I have seen women at the “bottom” who have enormous joy despite their circumstances. Personally, I am the person drawn to the outsider, drawn to the dis-spirited, drawn to the hurting…sometimes it can be overwhelming for me and sometimes I think I am drawn into and seek out individuals because it means that I don’t have to speak or share about my own troubles or how I am feeling about something, etc. I love lifting up others in prayer, I love touching and hugging and feeling that woman’s pain…and beseeching Jesus to make her whole to heal her spirit and/or her physical body.

    I want God at the center of my life, to be my life and to be more purposeful for Him. Our church secretary sent out an email about this very thing this week. She shared something then asked us to be more purposeful, to put aside our agenda on Sunday mornings – she found herself never looking at others but thinking that she needed to remember to run to the office to get something, etc. I’m thankful that God placed this on her heart and that she felt comfortable to share.

    Qu 3 – I recently stepped away from co-facilitating our women’s ministry at church. It was the right time for myself and my ministry partner. I have been praying about what God wants me to do (and I ask for prayer for any of those reading this). When I began this study I felt strongly that this would be a perfect study for a small home group of women – and preferably women who have never done a Bible study before (that is also been on my heart for a while). This is exciting to me – but I have lots of questions and keep asking Him to show me the next step if this is in His will.
    Qu #4 – I just love that the more I seek God through His word the MORE I want of Him! And, I surely love the way that He reveals the scripture to me. Sometimes I might go look for an answer to something that is perplexing and pray that He give me the ability to understand.

    Siestas, have a blessed week in the Lord!

  30. 80
    Kathy says:

    Shattuck Ladies and friends
    10 attended today.
    One of the ladies shared giving up living near her grandchildren to live where she and her husband felt God leading them. She has written 3 Christian novels for adolescence since moving. She would not have had time if she lived near her grandchildren.

  31. 81
    Lisa S. says:

    We are Steady Steps in Montgomery, TX. I did not post comments after Meeting #2, but we did meet. Meeting #3 found us camping on the question about what entitlement God is asking us to lay down. For the three of us, discerning God’s will about what rights to relinquish in our marriages has been a challenge. Making us into the image of Christ seems to be the greater purpose of our refining.

  32. 82
    Shawnda Foster says:

    TX Senoritas and the Sr Citizen, Lockney, TX, 5. So blessed to be apart of such a wonderful group studying God’s word. This week #2 brought about a time in one of the girls lives when they were in Jr High. They remembered having a jar full of change they were saving to buy clothes and at school they were doing a cancer drive and she remembered taking the change to school and giving it to the cancer drive and how good it made her feel to be giving instead of getting something for herself with that money.
    #3 about the areas of obedience that are currently fatiguing had quite a bit of conversation. Treating our bodies as the temple of God, Walking the walk we are talking and looking to ourselves to change in relationships were just a few of the topics we talked about.
    #5 Well came with some tears. Bringing myself joy is so watching my girls and other young people growing in their relationship with Christ. The other thing that was brought up was the joy we feel with the overflowing of God’s grace and forgiveness for our sins that He so lavishly pours out to each one of us on a daily basis.
    We dined on the salad and banana pudding and if you haven’t tried those please do. The pecans in the salad are divine. See you all in two weeks. God Bless you All!!!!

  33. 83
    Kathy says:

    Kathy, Austin, solo Thank YOU! great inspiration

    1.Shariff, young boy in Africa- past 3 years- he is so appreciative and I LOVE receiving his letters and what he and his Grandmother share with me- Jesus’s LOVE to say the least

    2. Pride, giving up generational possessions that have been held “sacred” did not realize I could give them up and feel so little regret- they were held in the highest regard- although not appreciated by the one I gave them up “for” I was surprised how little I held on to the sorrow of letting them go

    3. Fatigue- OH BOY- am I fatigued beyond my wildest imagination- I am strong but this is beyond what I can endure other than through our Lord’s empowerment Bitterness and anger sauced with sorrow- my oh my

    4. God’s saints sent to me- such a “mixed bag” to say the least- I have been soooo blessed- Probably Brother Roger of Taize is # 1- I saw Christ in his face as I sat across from him in a most unexpected opportunity- however there have been so many others “the finest of God’s servants” who have touched my life in the last 14 years- I am stunned due to the circumstances of my life- Beth you are one of those individuals

    5. Joy- those same people above and the possibility that I will “see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living” Amen

  34. 84
    Joyce Watson says:

    Joyce
    Lawton, Ok

    1. Helping the elderly on our street and sometimes our other neigbors has been something my husband and I do alot. When I cook, I cook for the neighborhood sometimes.
    2. Sometimes, I feel I have had to give up living near family members and having a close friend to follow God wherever He leads. There have been times I wish I could be close to others, yet God sends me out to share His Word and to teach. Like Jesus who said, these are my family, those that follow Him. But, it is worth it to follow Jesus.
    3. I am tired of “try, try and try again”. I wish some things were easier…learning God’s Word, becoming what God wants me to be, being that confident person in Christ and my hearts desire is to do Women’s Ministry, yet sometimes I am sure I am educated enough or know how to get started, but I love Bible study and women’s ministry so very much.
    4. The story of Rizpah in 2 Samuel just really touched my heart. This one widow woman who was faithful to honor and protect her children. How she represents anyone who has ever lost a child. Her heart was broken over the loss of her two boys and she positioned herself over her son’s corpse to keep preditors and birds from devouring them. David finally gave them a proper burial next to King Saul. In the same way, we honor our troops who have pass on by giving a flag to the grieving mother. And of course Jesus came to help us rejoice again.
    5. What gives me much joy?…just sharing from the heart with other women, hearing a little child pray and ask Jesus in their heart, music, what would we do without music?, seeing an elderly lady who has been faithful to the Lord for years and she still comes to church, knowing God’s blessing and knowing one day I will see Beth Moore here on earth or in Heaven…sometime hopefully…Joy is just know Christ is my Lord and Savior!

    3.

  35. 85
    Lynda Rickey says:

    Lynda in Ocala, FL: In response to number 1: My mom and I have had the privilege of knowing a homeless man in our town named Joe. It was really my mom who befriended him which is the first blessing from this acquaintenship, seeing my mother’s gifts of mercy and service on display. And to think that she sometimes thinks that she doesn’t do enough for her sweet Jesus. I love it when I am privileged enough in the faith to have my momma as a role model. My mom is nearly 70 and has a limited income so doing extra for gifts is sometimes out of the question. She mentioned to me that she wanted to get some things for Joe to make living on the street a bit easier. I was blessed to have a little bit extra so I was able to go to the dollar store and shop for Joe. I was so delighted to think of what things he might need but also a few things he might enjoy. It was wonderful to give my mom a bag full of things for Joe because I know she really wanted to and just couldn’t manage it. I know that Joe came into my life so that I could really experience the great joy of giving to others when they cannot
    return the favor. I’m still giddy thinking about it. Joe was able to return up north to be near his family but I won’t ever forget him and I’ll always be grateful to him for giving me the chance to know him. Nice guy who was down on his luck proving to me that you can’t judge a book by its cover and every little bit helps. In regards to 5: my greatest joy is standing next to my friends/family as we praise and worship the Lord together during Sunday service. I get so happy that I almost always cry and feel as though I might come apart at the seams, literally, from the joy of it all. Love you guys!

  36. 86
    Heather Jackson says:

    Heather J-Party of One, Harrogate, TN

    This has been a difficult couple of weeks for me. Distractions, distractions, distractions! We went on vacation and though I took my study with me, I still fell behind on my homework. That is why I chose # 3 as one of the questions to discuss:

    #3-I am finding it difficult to make prayer and study time a priority every day. My daily life is so chaotic taking care of my son who has special needs and demands a lot of attention. But he is not the only reason-I am lazy when it comes to the Lord! That is an ugly thing to admit about myself, but there it is. I desire a closer walk with him, but I’m not doing the work to get it. I will do really good for a few days or even a few weeks and then I just taper off. Feelings of guilt and shame get me going again, but then I find myself just going through the motions. I don’t know why this happens! I want to love the Lord and crave His word like a starving man craves water-but I don’t. I have had moments-lightbulb moments-where I get overwhelmed with how alive and perfect the Word is. I have felt God’s hand on my life, felt him calling me to him, I know he has a plan and a purpose for me, yet I fall short every time. I believe part of the problem is I am not separating myself from the world like I should. After the video session, when I was preparing the answers for my questions, I went into the word and looked up scriptures about being separated from the world. What I found was Leviticus 18:3 where God warns the Isrealites to not be effected by the culture and environment of Egypt and Canaan. The commentary of the Life Applications Bible said this: Society may pressure us to conform to its way of life and thought, but yielding to the pressure will:
    1. Create confusion as to which side we should be on
    2. Eliminate our effectiveness serving God.
    2 Cor. 6:17 Paul tells us come out from among them, and be ye separate” On this scripture the commentary says that separation from the world involves more than keeping our distance from sinners, it means staying close to God. The fact is, I don’t know how to live a life that is devoted to Christ and live in this world without being effected by it. Please pray for me and if anyone has words of wisdom who has had this same problem, I welcome your words and guidance!

    #5 The thing about the Christian life that gives me the most joy is something that most people would not see as joyful at all-it is the suffering of Christians. Or rather, the peace that Christians can have in the midst of suffering. My son, who will be 8 in just a few days, has horrible seizures. I have watched him stop breathing and did not know if I had just watched him die too many times to count. I have never heard him say “Mommy” or “I love you” or any other words and I never will this side of Heaven. But I know. I KNOW that nothing touches us that does not pass through His hands. I have verses like Jer. 29:11 and Psalms 121: 1-2 and many others that I can go to for comfort and encouragement. I know that Cooper is God’s special child, that he loves him 100 times more than my human heart is even capable, and that his suffering is not in vain. That is my joy in the Christian life-that the suffering I see in my very own home I can lay at the cross and I can trust the Lord with it and I can have peace.

    I know this has been really long, but I sure would like some feedback. I am doing this alone and have no Siestas here to discuss this with. Any thoughts and/or encouragement would be welcomed and appreciated. God bless.

    • 86.1
      Paula says:

      Hi, Heather.
      I’m soloing it too. Your post touched me & I hope I have something useful to share. I came out of a background of legalism where I spent a lot of my focus on avoiding doing the wrong things. You know how they say when you hand your child something and tell them “Don’t drop it!” that you have almost guaranteed it will be dropped because you have shifted their focus to thinking the negative? Well, for me, that’s what having my focus on avoiding the world was like. It had me keeping my eyes on the world all the time instead of on the Lord. I find it much more helpful to focus on Him, on His Word, on my time of communion with Him in prayer (some days I am so busy that my prayer life looks more like a patchwork quilt, snippets here and there, but still I need to be talking to Him all the time.)
      Have you done Beth’s study on James yet? If not, and if you can make the time, I highly recommend it. I would also recommend you do the memorization. It has changed my life. Don’t burden yourself with feeling that you have to be able to quote the whole book. This is obviously a busy time in your life. Just hang a verse a day on the window over your kitchen sink or on your bathroom mirror and say it out loud every time you walk past.
      Beth talks about the “early and late rains” in James chapter 5 and how this phrase is about God’s faithfulness. I know it can be hard to endure the times between those “light bulb moments” but God is faithful, the rain is coming and the day will arrive when we won’t need those light bulbs because we will live in the land of eternal Sonshine!
      I have a friend with a special needs child. I don’t know if you suffer this same problem but she exhausts herself and has difficulty accepting outside help. If you have the opportunity, accept help from those who are willing to assist. Meanwhile, know that this Missouri girl is holding you up in prayer!
      Meanwhile, “draw near to God and He WILL draw near to you.”

    • 86.2
      Betty M says:

      Dear Heather,
      I do not know if you will look back at this but if you need to, I pray God will direct you back to it.
      Seizures are scary aren’t they? We have a son who has disablilties who lives with us he had a rare form of childhood leukemia at age 8 and that was 30 yrs ago. the last 5 yrs he has developed seizures. this spring he had one eve when he had back to back grand mals and it went on till the ambulance got here 45 mins later and all the way 40 miles to the hospital. He did not get back to baseline and they have found now that it is due to brain radiation he got at age 8. He spent 21 days in a local hospital and 8 days at Rochester Mn and htrough the last months of speech therapy he is getting most of his speech skills back every day gets little better but we do not know if and when the siezures will return. Brian has taught us alot too about patience and waiting on God. because of Brian’s medical problems we have met many others we have been able to reach for Christ so even though these difficulties are not fun to go through if we can use them to give God glory than that makes it all worth while. Keep strong in the Lord even though you may not know what the future holds. If you ever want to write to me you can at bedaacrs@yahoo.com. I am grateful for this community of sisters in the faith it has been a real faith builder for me. My He bless you richly. Love, Betty M

  37. 87
    Kari Benton says:

    Kari Benton- Katy, Texas
    #3 I often feel like I’m fatiguing in the calling of motherhood- I have put my nursing career on hold to be at home full time caring for my kids- and I’m tired right now- They are at a demanding age and I feel fatigued a lot. Sometimes I wish I could be at work instead because at least I would be getting paid for the hard work. I struggle with these feelings often- but when I reflect on what blessings I’ve already experienced they are numerous. God is continuing to teach me that it’s not all about me- and He is strippping away my selfishness and teaching me with sacrificial love is like- and providing me daily practice in my home to love and to serve and to make disciples.

    #5 One of my greatest joys in the Christian life is to watch young people grow up in their faith. I have been doing student ministry with my husband for 10 years now- and these little jr. highers that we started with are now getting married and having babies- they are godly yound men and women and they are serving in churches and on mission fields- they are changing the world around them wherever they may be. Just to be able to be witness to that transformation of a life over time has been a great joy to me.

  38. 88
    Bev says:

    Bev —– spending time between homes in Houston and Brenham, TX

    1. Thinking over this question, my heart really hurt because I remembered the number of different individuals living in what many label below standards who I’ve had the opportunity to know. I know some of them have touched my life in how they so willingly serve and work hard. I pray that through smiles and words that I helped show the love of Jesus.
    My husband’s Bible Study group is putting together a cook-out and afternoon of fun for a group of children who are part of Faith Ministry through our church. This is something the men have been doing for a couple of years and I’ve not been able to be a part of the joy in sharing in but I am committed to learn the name of at least one of these impoverished kids. Have felt so convicted to learn a name!!!! Thank you Lord 🙂

    3. I am currently fatiguing in the area of continually and consistently praying for one of our sons who told us he is gay just a few months ago. This is a young man who has known the Lord from an early age, been deeply involved in mission work and ministry. He knows the Word, but believes the lies and deceit of the Enemy that is filling the vacuums in his heart left by a wounded father/son relationship. I grieve as his mother, but more so I grieve for the loss of the relationship with his Abba Father. My husband (step-father) and I as well as many others pray for our son, but Satan is doing his best to keep our minds not focused on the battle.

    5. There is much about the Christian life that gives me joy! A few things at the top of the list are:
    *worship and lifting my heart in song
    *encouragement from others through prayer
    *seeing God’s hand in every aspect of life

  39. 89
    Billsgirl says:

    God’s G.A.L.S., King of King Lutheran Church, Woodbury, MN

    We had a smaller group last night, only 7 out of 17. God was all over us last night. As we had covered week 3 throughly last week. We focused mostly on the week 4 questions.

    We talked about areas of obidience where we are fatiguing. Some areas were in caring for someone with health issues and with ministry teams we are members of that are in need of re-energizing and re-focusing on God and prayer. We spent a lot of time talking about ways we see people and ourselves being aided by scriptures. One of our members shared her delight in truly understanding the scriptures even after years of attending mass and going to Catholic school, she still had not grasped the true meaning of the Word. Some of us agreed with her that we are “late bloomers.”

    The first question brought to us that we need to work on learning a name of someone we can reach out personally to. We discussed how do you know it is the right thing to do. Many times you want to show reach out but you are not sure if it will be welcomed.

    As we are also watching the video, we had some good discussion on it as well. We have decided as a group to sponsor a table for the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack event our church is hosting September 7-8. For some of us this will involve stepping out of our comfort zone and/or making a financial sacrafice. We feel it is a great opportunity, one of many we hope, to answer God’s call to service. (If you are interested in learning more about Feed My Starving Children, see http://www.fmsc.org)

  40. 90
    MidloVA says:

    I have not posted our participation earlier, but we have 13 women enrolled in our Nehemiah study at Chester Baptist Church, and we meet on the same day as your posts. However, the posts for this study are not on the web site before I leave for our session at 8:45 am DST, so we do not have access to your suggestion of questions to discuss. However, we do watch Kelly’s DVDs and discuss the questions in the Leader’s Guide.

  41. 91
    Diane says:

    DianeC, Tucson (solo)
    1. At first I didn’t think I really knew a name of anyone that was truly poor; But God opened my eyes and convicted my heart! My own sister-in-law and her son are in such a difficult situation in life – at times homeless, and helpless. We have been helping them the best we can with wisdom and discretion. But my heart was broken as I realized that I lack true godly love and compassion for them! I have resented our involvement and financial support to keep them off the street. I am resolved to pray earnestly for love and compassion and their physical and spiritual needs.
    3. I am so challenged in my home and family life. I have been much more self-focused and much less others focused. I need a servant’s heart! Wanting desperately to love and respect my husband better, and encourage the hearts of my children more!

    I am so thankful for this study. God is really using it in my life to hopefully, make me more like Him!

  42. 92
    Kimberly says:

    Kimberly, Idaho Spuds
    I have had to lay down my rights this week in different areas. a minor one being schedule changes.
    The joy i get from sisters in christ, sharing Jesus with others through words and actions. recently it has been a renewal of Scripture memory in the James Bible study. Pryaer walking is an all time favorite of mine and sitting in a room with brothers and sisters in Christ lifting requests to Him. it is so good to take time to reflect on what fuels my Joy in Jesus.

  43. 93
    Lynda Harkins says:

    Mermaids of Carmel,CA: 4 staff members celebrating life together!
    #1: We had a few examples that were individual experiences but our focused discussion was on a mom and her teenage twins that God has recently brought to us from South Africa. Dad’s not in the picture…mom is an educated, strong woman who is currently unemployed. Embarrassed by her situation, Sheila sought help privately from a staff member. We’ve fallen head over heels in love with her teenagers, Uzo and Uche. Beautiful boy and girl twins who are really struggling to understand life right now. We are searching for ways to keep pouring our lives into the lives of this beloved family. We trust God will continue to do His will in their lives. They are one of the answers to question 5!

  44. 94
    Anita Siecker says:

    Mama & Me, Purcellville, VA 2. Mama & Me have not been able to meet.
    My dear younger sister has been in the ICU in septic shock with kidney failure and on a ventilator. She just finally got off of it. My father-in-law, who NEEDS to know the Lord!, is in another hospital because he had 9 mini-strokes and his kidneys are failing. Could you all pray for my kinfolk?? Thank you and love this family!

  45. 95
    KimDotJoy (doo-dah) says:

    “Fellowship Ladies” (6); Poplar Bluff, MO

    We enjoyed our time together and feasted on cold banana pudding on a hot summer evening.

    1)We discussed how knowing the name of one who is poor and/or oppressed and calling the person by their name makes a difference. The person feels much more valued as an individual and senses someone truly cares about them.

    4) We thought Ezra reading from the Book of Law and the response of the people was awesome! In today’s world we should be in awe of God’s Word and thankful it is so available to us. We are fortunate to have study books, online resources, and great Bible teachers to help us learn and understand.

    Thank you for facilitating this summer Bible study.

  46. 96
    Lisa says:

    Lisa from Springboro Ohio – the thing that brings me most joy in this faith walk is working together with the body to accomplish things for Christ, whether it’s VBS (which my church just finished), singing in a choir, working in our local soup kitchen, missions trip, etc. There is nothing like it, and I can look back in my life at these times and remember such complete joy! So thankful God has allowed me to do these things with such wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ.

  47. 97
    Jennifer T says:

    SASS Girls, Fairfax VA, 2

    Thanks to vacations/swim meets/family emergencies our group was whittled down to 2 this week – but what a JOY for me to sit with a lovely graduate student and hear how the Lord spoke to her through Nehemiah!
    We discussed entitlements surrendered and also of knowing NAMES and wondering how we can be more purposeful there.
    She told of what undergraduate world was like these last few years and then we shared what gave us JOY in Christian Life.

    She told a story of a young Asian student with not a family member to support him and his full-hearted baptism at their college church. She was awe-struck by the bravery he showed as she couldn’t imagine making a decision like that without her parents presence or encouragement(her parents are wonderful, sold-out believers and raised her in a safe place to explore/question and grow into the faith she clearly owns for herself).

    We both had written down that it was moments like these – where clearly ONLY GOD COULD HAVE DONE THIS that gives us joy! What a gift to ever, ever see even one of these moments, yet we both have had the privilege of witnessing or being a part of several. (And it’s prob one of the only times I can honestly say I’m thrilled to be 20 yrs her senior because I’ve got more years of moments like that to remember)!

    Note: no pasta because of ‘rubble’ that is diet related – but WOW that Romaine salad ROCKED last week!!!!! YUM-O!

  48. 98
    Rachel says:

    Rachel, Surprise, AZ, going solo

    1. I’m fairly new in this area, and so don’t know many people where we live now. But the people who come to mind initially are the kids I’ve helped sponsor with Compassion over the years. My mom and I sponsored a little boy in Ethiopia when I was a kid; a friend from college and I co-sponsored a beautiful little girl in Honduras named Fatima, and I’ve sponsored two young boys in Mexico named Michal and Omar. All of these have opened my heart to the needs of their specific families and God has seriously blessed me through their correspondence over the years.

    2. One of the areas God has been convicting me of lately has been in my sense of entitlement in my marriage. We have only been married for a year, and God has been showing me that I am naturally quite selfish. I am trying to learn how to put my husband’s needs and desires first. I am still learning, but I think this is part of God’s larger plan to 1) make me more humble (which I’m not yet) and 2) strengthen my love for my husband by serving him and putting him first.

    3. I am definitely fatiguing in the area of prayer. I have a terrible time remaining focused, especially with my chronic illness that makes concentration hard at times.

    4. I certainly think that many of us here in the US no longer have any sort of awe or reverence toward scripture. I am daily seeing friends whom I love (and who call themselves Christians) boldly declaring that the Bible is worthless and is not at all useful. In fact, they are constantly declaring that the Bible is a horrible, judgmental book that has no use in our life. How much this contrasts with the people who stood day and night to hear the words of the Law. I am passionate about God’s word and long to show people how completely trustworthy and completely relibale the Word is. If we are not basing our ideas and judgments and beliefs on the Word, on what are we trusting?

    5. One of the things that gives me great joy is the knowledge that I will get to live with Christ forever, and that those whom I love will be with Him as well. My mom has been fighting metastatic breast cancer for 3 years, and a dear, dear friend and her unborn daughter were killed only a few weeks ago when she was hit by a car while crossing the street. The comfort I have from knowing that they love Jesus and that, even when they die, they will be living with Christ is incomparable to anything else.

  49. 99
    Audrey says:

    RushChurch Elder’s Wives, 4 ~ Rushsylvania, Ohio
    RushChurch Deacon’s Wives, 5 ~ Rushsylvania, Ohio

    We had {yet another!} wonderful time of discussion in each group, but there was a common theme of most of us fatiguing in our quiet time/prayer time/study time… whatever we each call our meetings with the Father. It’s definitely encouraging to know we’re not the only ones struggling with a particular thing, then encouraging one another with ways we had a quiet time during a previous season (that another sister is currently in). We also had a great time sharing the particular joys each of us finds in the Christian life~ and how varied we are! Some find joy most in our quiet times with the LORD, while serving others, while praying for others, while singing to the Lord. We have truly enjoyed this focused time together!

  50. 100
    Linda says:

    Lincoln, NE
    1. There’s a man named Emmitt who I see as a hospice volunteer. He is completely nonverbal from a stroke, and I struggle trying to give meaning to my visits with him. In the past with other people I’ve visited who are dying, they’ve been able to tell me about their lives which in turn gives me joy. I just love hearing their stories. With Emmitt, he can’t tell me his stories. His life is very different from mine, he is stuck in a body that doesn’t work yet his brain is still very functional. We spend times alone in the quiet of his room and I read God’s word and God reveals things to me about just sharing time together with another human being. Even when there’s no spoken words, God gives us the gift of a relationship. It’s really hard to put into words, but I feel God’s presence in this relationship with Emmitt.
    5. One of the things in my Christian life that gives me joy, is the simple act of obedience in giving to others. Times when I feel the resistance of my flesh, and yet I deliberately obey even in little things. Just putting others first. When I do this, I experience a very real physical feeling of joy. It takes over me and I feel closer to Jesus and the love of Jesus. Again I struggle putting it into words, but there is a warmth of love that I feel when I give to others, that I can’t explain. It’s not what I want to do at first, but once I do, something changes in me. I just love that.

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